Dealing with my husband's lack of desire to do ANYTHING!

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Hubby is a 63 yo, basically healthy man. He has lost hearing in his right ear years ago due to an untreated infection. Hearing loss is rampant in his family, and now he is losing the hearing in his left ear. I have to shout at him, even when I am LOOKING at him to get him to respond. He refuses to get his hearing checked. Saw an audiologist 25+ years ago who couldn't help him, so he assumes this more recent loss is the same. We just returned from visiting an out of state daughter and she commented that he seemed a lot worse. Also, he is type 2 diabetic and will not comply with dr's advice. He eats horribly and swigs full sugar soda all day. He seems foggy and out of it all the time. His go-to emotion for EVERYTHING is to be angry, mostly aimed at me b/c he thinks I don't tell him what's going on. Last night I had to remind him of a couple of things that HAVE to be done within the next week and he blew up and me and said "You have become a huge nag. Just calm down." Yes, I had reminded him of these things several times, but due to his poor hearing, I never know if he hears me and "gets" what I am saying. He still works FT, but is beginning to make some huge mistakes at work, and I think they are due to the hearing loss and the fact he has kind of withdrawn into himself, which people with hearing loss can do. If he is home, he is in the bedroom with the TV on so loud you can hear it all over the house. He only watched FoxNews and has become this old curmudgeon. I can't STAND that TV in the room and he knows it. He says it's his room and he can do what he wants. I'm sick of this. Any ideas?? I'm ready to leave him.


It might be interesting for u to stay with family for awhile. Maybe he would realize what his world would be like dealing with hearing loss...and.....alone. If his health is good other then hearing loss, there is no cure for being mean. Just like there is no cure for being stupid. Stressful situation. But, you need to take care of yourself too!!!
Thanks Gorlin...
He actually travels about 75% of the time, so I AM alone, a lot. He's not always mean, but we literally spend so little time together, when he is between (very stressful) business trips, that I am trying to catch him up on all the things that are important that he know..hence what he refers to as "nagging". If he could HEAR me the FIRST time, and I KNEW he heard me and responded...then I would be able to feel like I was being heard and understood. I am not asking him to do a thousand things for me. I am asking if he needs clean shirts for the next trip, does he want me to pick up his meds at the pharmacy, did he make that drs appt....for example, today was the "free flu shot" day at work. He went golfing. I asked him last night what his plans for today answer after 3 tries. I went in front of the TV and almost yelled at him. His response "Why are you always so tense? Calm down!!! Let life just flow by! You have become such a nag, I am trying to watch this show" ( a re-run of some old FoxNews something) I gave up. He will realize, sometime during the day of golf that he forgot his flu shot and why didn't I remind him. I have barely spoken to him today, now he's gone, thank goodness. I steered clear of him all morning, I am still part hurt and partly just seething b/c he can shut me down so fast.
My kids know he's like this, they say "Mom, we don't want to hear about it, he is your problem. We left home so we wouldn't have to live with this"....and it really isn't their problem. The not controlling his diabetes is another whole thing....I cook very healthy, keep NO candy or cake or goodies in the house, but he still just eats garbage. It IS his life and his body---but it also DOES affect me. I actually am going to Seattle for about 8 days to tend some grandkids. He is not coming. He'll eat garbage, mess up the house and leave the TV on 24/7. I'll come home to a mess. He DOES appreciate that I do "all the stuff" with running the house and he works. Doesn't mention it often, but I do know he appreciates it. I know the lack of diabetes care and the hearing loss is making him be this way. Mostly I am just whining, and I know it, but I am a "fixer" by nature and he cannot be "fixed". In his eyes, I am the problem, the sole and only real problem.
You have marital problems. This isn't about caregiving, this is about your mentally competent husband not respecting you, not trusting you and not wanting to help himself.

So how long are you willing to put up with it?

If he doesn't want to take care of his diabetes or see if his hearing can be improved, see an attorney about a legal separation that will protect your rights.

He's not going to change. So that means YOU have to.
Midkid58, I was just think that some men won't hear us even if they have 100% good hearing :P And yes, we have to nag because when it comes to chores, they will ignore it until reminded a dozen times over. Imagine if we ignore or forget making dinner !!

As for hubby's hearing, try this for awhile, just speak in a normal tone, keep the TV sound on the sound that you can hear when you are using the TV.... one time to get my Mom to finally look at hearing aids, Dad and I would whisper to each other and have the TV on low.

As for hubby's eating habits, who does the main grocery shopping? If it is you, substitute the sugary soda for something else. I am not a big fan of the artificial sweeteners but in this case you might have to go that route.

Hubby could be very unhappy with himself, here he is still young and has medical issues and hearing loss. Men like to fix things, be it physically fixing things or logistical fixing. He can't fix his hearing loss [actually he can with a hearing aid], nor he thinks he can't fix his diabetic condition. He can help himself with something as easy as walking. Walk the neighborhood, or the mall, or even up and down the aisles at Home Depot or Lowes.
Also sounds like you have a parent-child relationship going on. You are not his mother. If he needs clean shirts, let him either tell you or do them himself. Why are you reminding him about a flu shot at HIS work, for heaven's sake? Why are you picking up his meds? Why are you reminding him about HIS doctor appointments?

Stop it. You make ME tired.
Why are you always so tense?

Gotta love that question. I DON'T KNOW I CAN'T IMAGINE WHYD'YA THINK????

Oh Midkid, I'm sorry. I have no idea what you could do. Keep a wall diary and write everything he needs to know on that and try to train him to read it? It hasn't exactly worked for me, but now if anything goes wrong at least I can just assume a beatific expression and say "sorry, but it's in the diary."

Trouble is, you care what becomes of your husband which isn't a problem for me - not that I don't care about exSO, but we're going our separate ways anyway in an amicable fashion so his health won't be my concern. All I can say is, enjoy the break, take the chance to relax, and when you get back see if you can't work out a way to let him be responsible for himself.

But the mess, the noise, the apathy - aaaarrrrgggh. Feel for you. Hugs.
Thanks for supporting comments;
Yes, we have marital problems: me. Well, that's how he feels. We did counseling once and the therapist (and 82 yo man) blamed everything on me. Literally. I walked out of the last session and never went back. What a joke. I have a personal therapist that I see, Hubby asks why do I need one and I said "She is the person who has kept me in this marriage for almost 40 years. I PAY her to listen to me, that's how desperate I am to have someone validate that I am not crazy." No response from him.
No doubt hubs is depressed. He's lost a lot of the abilities to do the things he used to love, sports being the main one. He had a liver transplant 9 years ago...has been given a 2nd chance at life and so his not dealing with his diabetes just makes me angry. His kidneys are compromised by the antirejection meds he takes, which makes controlling the diabetes so much more important.
I do ALL the shopping, ALL the cooking, but he eats out a LOT. The travel. He doesn't make good choices. He will NOT drink "fake sugar" drinks.
He will NOT walk for exercise. Exercise is hiking. Nothing else counts.
This past week we were with my daughter and her hubby in Houston, SIL is a GI fellow. He spoke to hubby very directly about his lack of care of his diabetes. Hubby got mad at ME for mentioning his issues with SIL. SIL says he is the typical non-compliant patient, and said he will change when and if he wants to, but not to hold my breath. Very discouraging. SIL isn't emotionally invested, so when he talked to my hubs he was very direct and very clinical. Other than just being angry with me, the discussion was a bust. SIL even offered to write him a prescription for a new med that will aid the one he takes currently (that makes him VERY sick) and he declined. SIL just shrugged his shoulders and said "Welcome to my typical day at work. 80% of my patients are non-compliant. You can give them info and meds, but most won't follow through. B* is no exception."
I feel your pain. It is none of my business but, it sounds to me like u r making excuses for him being disrespectful to u. If he is does not have a medical issue that would cause him not to consider your feelings, what is the excuse? It appears u are modifying you behaved but he is unwilling to modify his. Hmmmmm
Mm. SIL is right, you know. Well, you do know, I know that. Maybe here is what SIL doesn't know:

you would prefer it if your husband were not blind as well as deaf
you would rather he did not have to have his feet amputated
you were kind of hoping that he and you, once you've completed your careers and your family-raising, might have some time left over for yourselves
it is hard to see someone you love going on taking risks because he has lost heart when it comes to improving his health

And all of this is not because you are a selfish nag. It is because he is your husband and you love him, and you would like him to be around in more or less one piece for a while yet.

If you had ten husbands a day to work with, maybe you could be as relaxed about non-compliance as SIL is. And in fact has to be, because otherwise the frustration would be intolerable. But as it is…

When you've packed and are ready to set off, leave a letter with your husband explaining why you care what happens to him. He can think about that while you're away, and you'll have got it off your chest so you can enjoy the time off.

PS I won't drink low-calorie soft drinks either. I think they're revolting. But there's always good old water!
Country mouse...
Bam, right on topic. I DO love this guy--we have been to hell and back (mostly with his health issues, which I really didn't get into, due to space...) and YES I want him in once piece and I want him as healthy as he can be. I am certain my SIL was as "calm" as he was b/c this is his FIL, not his own father. AND as a dr, he sees worse and has to grow that thick skin. I appreciated him being completely professional with my hubby.

I have grown conditioned over the years to take all the stress and "issues" of raising a large family (5 kids) entirely upon myself, mostly due to the fact hubby has always traveled and when he came home, he would NOT deal with any family upset or stresses. So I got them all by default. Not complaining, saying it like it is. I cannot talk to this man in a way he understands. He is an engineer. He fixes problems for a living. I have (or am) a problem, he tells me how to fix it and won't talk anymore about it. Period.
I think I will write him a letter and leave it for him. He can peruse it at his own time and maybe reading something will help. I did that just once before as it was something had to change or I was leaving. It got better for a little while, but old habits.....Gorlin, I am probably trying to not make him sound like some kind of monster...he's not. We're just in the rut that is making me so sad. AND I do not want to watch him die by inches simply b/c he's too "busy" to take care of himself. I am also super sick today with a cold I brought home from sick grandkids and that is coloring how I feel.

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